Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lentil Unit Study - Five in a Row FIAR

Lentil is a great story about a boy with a special talent who uses it for good. It reminds us all that we have certain God-given talents and we should use them for good rather than being jealous of others and wishing we had their talents or being discontent when we don't have what we'd like. This is an area I struggle with myself, so Lentil is a book that spoke to me and I know Little Princess will enjoy it.

As with all of my unit planning this year, I started with a simple list in Word that was categorized with subjects and I began by cutting and pasting general ideas, divided themes into subjects and such.

Then I went to Pinterest, my all time favorite time-zapper, and looked for specific ideas, projects, crafts, recipes, science experiments, etc. I record those items in my Literature Unit Study Planner. This post (and most of my posts this summer) is a collection of those items.

Of course, this will be followed by actual plotting out our week on a weekly plan sheet, which I'll show in a later post because I haven't gotten that far yet.

Without further ado... here we go:

Lentil Themes: 

Ohio, harmonica, using talents for good, lemon, 5 Senses: taste and hearing, American Flag, pledge of allegiance,  communities, occupations

 Bible Verse: 

Proverbs 18:16 “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men. “



There are several mini books and worksheets in the Lentil lapbook and unit study from Homeschool Share. We'll be using elements for Social Studies, Language (copywork and vocabulary), and Math (worksheets/story problems)

I've also purchased the Ohio state mini lapbook at CurrClick to satisfy our Geography part of the study. I love these mini lapbooks from Fortunately For You Books. They are full of information, easy to put together, attractive and can be glued into your larger lapbook or notebook. Highly recommend for adding a state study to any FIAR unit.


We'll be doing tasting and hearing activities from Science Experiments for Young Learners.


What would a FIAR row be without food? I found this great looking cake on Michelle's blog, Delightful Learning.

As a matter of fact, you should check out here entire Lentil row. Her rows are always so good and this one's no exception.

Additional activities:

1. Play a harmonica
2. Listen to harmonica music  on YouTube
3. Watch Washington DC National Monuments videos
4. Listen to the “Star Spangled Banner” 
5. Sing “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain”

(I haven't narrowed down the specific videos we'll use yet, but I'll add them when I do)

I'm sure there's plenty more great ideas for this wonderful book. I'd love to hear yours. Do you have 
any plans for rowing Lentil that you'd like to share? 


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FIAR homeschool plans for 2013-2014

Here is the basic outline for our FIAR studies this year (subject to change, of course):

  • Summer - Lentil (senses, flag, Ohio), Evan-Moor Nursery Rhyme Pockets, Play With Me (pond life)
  • September - The Little Red Lighthouse (New York, Lighthouses, 9/11), Wee Gillis (Lungs, air, Scotland, Robert Burns poetry, Scottish Games), How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (apples, chickens/eggs, cows/milk, plants/wheat, salt and evaporation, rainforest, Italy, France, Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Vermont, England, geography basics)
  • October - Catch up, When I Was Young in the Mountains (Appalachian life, mountains), The Rag Coat (coal, quilting), Halloween/Autumn
  • November - Madeline, Papa Piccolo, Cranberry Thanksgiving
  • December - Christmas Activities
  • January - Owl Moon, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, Katy and the Big Snow, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
  • February - Night of the Moonjellies, Very Last First Time,  The Giraffe That Walked to Paris
  • March - Make Way for Ducklings, Story About Ping, Thundercake (my own addition), Just Plain Fancy
  • April - Storm in the Night, Three Names, Miss Rumphius
  • May - Tale of Peter Rabbit
We'll spend more time on some books than others and I'm sure we'll need time off or to play catch up here and there, so I didn't assign specific days or even weeks. I'm no good at following that kind of schedule anyway. This is flexible to meet our needs, but still structured enough that I know what we're working on and what's coming up next. 

How's your 2013-2014 schedule looking?


Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Giraffe that Walked to Paris - FIAR

Yippee! For those who don't know, The Giraffe that Walked to Paris is back in print. Get it here.

I have been working on planning for our Giraffe row which should be great fun!

Our themes for this row are Egypt, France, giraffes and the Statue of Liberty, since she was a gift to the U.S. from France just as la girafe was a gift to France from Egypt.

Here are some books I found that will add to our studies:

I found lots of great links to printables over here. We'll color the Coloring page and then use the
lapbook from Aussie Pumpkin Patch blog:

How about a paper city Paris? I found this about a month ago and planned to use it for our Madeline row, but it's so cool that I think we'll use it every time we visit paris! Check it out here.

Here's another great coloring page and another and another.
A great website for animal facts including giraffes.

A giraffe craft: 

Great blogs with posts on The Giraffe that Walked to Paris:

I'm so tickled that the book is back in print and I'm anxiously awaiting my copy. I'll be adding activities to our row after I've actually read the book, but I just love giraffes and so I couldn't wait to at least get it started. Have you ordered your copy? How do you intend to row this book at your house?

FIAR Three Names unit

I'm very excited to row Three Names from Five in a Row, Volume 2. It's an endearing story about life long ago. Topics we'll cover in this row are tornadoes, dogs, and prairie life.

Here are some materials that look good for this row:

  Here are some links: Aussie Pumpkin Patch lapbook  
 Tornado Lapbook Pieces from Homeschool Share  

Dog Lapbook to go with Amanda Bennet's Dogs unit study at Homeschool Share
More activities:  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

B4FIAR - Play With Me unit study

I created this unit for my daughter to go with the book Play With Me by Marie Hall Ets. It's a cute little book about a girl who visits a pond looking for someone to play with and learns a valuable lesson about being still. My daughter is going into first grade so some of these activities are for older kids than the typical B4FIAR crowd, but I feel it's a nice mix for any family to use, especially if you're combining ages. 

Play with Me

The theme I chose for this story is ponds and some of the animals the little girl encounters on her visit to the pond.

Go Along Books:


(From Tadpole to Frog by Wendy Pfeffer, Turtles for Kids by John Davidson, Grasshopper on the Road and the Frog and Toad Collection by Arnold Lobel, National Geographic Kids Readers: Frogs! by Elizabeth Carney, Life Cycles: Wood Frog by David M. Schwartz and One Small Square: Pond by Donald Silver)


Origami Jumping Frog 

Paper Plate Turtle

Grasshopper craft

Bible Verse: 

Psalms 23:2-3 "He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul."

Click on the picture to go to 2 Teaching Mommies and download this wonderful free poster with accompanying devotional:

·     Printables:

Preschool Ponds & Rivers pack from 2 Teaching Mommies

Free Pond Pack from

Free Pond Life preschool printables from Homeschool Creations

·         Math: frog math activities, skip counting, greater than/less than, addition, subtraction, counting. Most of our math activities come from the 3 printable pack. That pack has some great math activities.

Have you rowed Play With Me? What did you do during your row?

Friday, June 7, 2013

FIAR - The Story About Ping

The first book I completed planning for is The Story About Ping. It's a cute story, set on the Yangtze River in China, about a duck who hides in order to avoid his punishment. He is captured, but finds his way back to his family, relieved and having learned a lesson. It's a cute story with lots of character teaching opportunities.

Using my new planner has been a real blessing because it is set up in a way that shows me instantly if I have enough planned for any given subject.  Sadly, some of the items we're using in this unit are no longer available, but you should be able to find something comparable, make your own, or just leave those things out. Here goes:

Themes: China, ducks, sink or float, consequences of actions (Jonah from the Bible)

Go Alongs: Picture a Country: China, True Book: China, Have You Seen My Duckling?, Day of the Dragon King, Ducks Don't Get Wet, Ducks! by Gail Gibbons

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

FIAR Five in a Row Planning for 2013-2014

It has begun... the planning. Isn't this the fun part?

I really enjoy planning units for us to learn together, but it can be frustrating when I don't have a good system to keep track of the work I'm doing. I tend to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of teaching Mama who doesn't do things necessarily in any particular order. So I created my own planner that I decided to share with you...

Literature Based Unit Study Planner 2013-2014


Please feel free to print this and use it as you like. (I plan to upload an editable version that you can type into and then print, but for now this is as far as I've gotten).

There are several things I like about this planner:

1. I don't have to assign a specific time to each unit because it is sorted by unit and not by weeks or months.
2. I can add and change things as I go.
3. I don't have to completely finish one unit before I move on to the rest of them.
4. I can use this easily with the Five in a Row curriculum and can create my own book-based unit studies to go along with our FIAR learning all in the same planner. How cool is that??
5. I can copy and paste pictures, text, links, etc. right into my (editable) planner to make it easy on me.
6. I can add pages as I need and change things as I go.
7. I can print the whole thing, nice and neat, and have it spiral bound at my local Fed Ex office store.

Coming up: I will post how I do my planning with links and pics.

How do you plan for your FIAR and other book-based unit studies?